Better Business Bureau: Good Tips for Bad Reviews
Customer service is integral to a company’s success; however, sometimes the customer is not happy. When this happens, consumers seek ways to remedy the situation. From a social media post to a customer review or complaint, the customer wants to let other consumers know about the disservice. Bad reviews can happen to any company, and how the business responds matters.
According to a recent BrightLocal survey, 98 percent of people read online reviews for local businesses. Thus, ignoring reviews or complaints can damage the company’s reputation and gives the impression that the business doesn’t care. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) recommends these tips for businesses that receive a negative review.
Respond promptly to negative reviews. Prospective customers consider the newest reviews the most relevant and accurate. A lack of response can be interpreted as the company not caring about customers’ concerns, so have a dedicated person who monitors the review platforms and responds quickly. A bonus tip: thank those who leave positive reviews. This shows you appreciate their patronage.
Be respectful when responding to negative comments. You should avoid making denials or excuses. Instead, acknowledge the customer’s concerns, apologize for the mistake, and illustrate that you value the feedback as an opportunity to improve. If your company didn’t make a mistake, stick to the facts and don’t let your emotions take over. Keep the response professional.
Be sure to claim your business profiles. With so many online platforms and directories, make sure to take ownership of these profiles so that you can respond quickly to any issues. Staying on top of your digital reputation is essential to maintain consumer trust.
Tell the customer how to contact you. In your response, let consumers know how to contact you directly. This allows for more personal interaction and a step toward resolving the issue.
Businesses can remove or prohibit reviews that are considered abusive, vulgar, or threatening. The Consumer Review Fairness Act is a 2016 federal law that protects customers when leaving an honest review, but it does not protect the consumer against leaving a harmful critique. This includes inappropriate language like racial slurs. BBB reviews are vetted before publishing online, so consumers can rely on the consumer experience.
Encourage customers to leave reviews on BBB.org. BBB’s website is designed to be a resource for consumers and businesses. Get the most out of it by urging your customers to leave a verified review on the site.
Give it time. Responding to the review is the first step. Treat the negative review as an opportunity for improvement. Figure out what went wrong and how you can prevent the situation in the future. Fixing the issue makes for happier customers, which will appear in subsequent reviews.
For consumers making a purchasing decision, honest reviews are one way to learn about a company. Responding professionally to concerns and providing solutions shows customers you care.
This year the Alaska Railroad is celebrating 100 years of transportation people and cargo around Alaska. While the railroad is one of the states oldest transporters, it certainly isn’t the only one, and in this issue of Alaska Business we also check in on the Marine Highway, Span Alaska, and the White Pass & Yukon Route. For those interested in Southeast, our focus on that region provides updates on Kensington Mine, Tongass FCU, the troll fishery, and Juneau’s growing landfill.